Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Books and Writing News

The last several weeks at the library, maybe even for more than a month, I've been working on a project. To determine which books belong in our library and which books belong up in Bangor, there is a colored stripe on the spine. We found a ton of books with no stripe at all so it was placed upon me to first make sure the books do indeed belong down here and then place a blue stripe on them. This morning while I was working on this project, checking in a book to see if it was ours brought up an ILL hold alert. We're not sure if this was a new request placed after we checked that morning on an old request kicking around the system for awhile. My boss told me to just prepare it for shipment as even if it's not a current request, they'll just send it back. It was very weird. And yes, I did stripe it!

Last evening, I finished the second book in the new Genesis of Shannara trilogy by Terry Brooks: The Elves of the Cintra. I've read some really good books lately, and some not so good frankly, but this book is the first in I don't know when that I just couldn't put down for second and left me saying "Wow." at the end. Just telling you the title kind of ruins the book for you and the previous book. I obviously can't speak for other people but I think my review of that book makes more sense now to me! And yes, this the first of three proposed trilogies according to Brooks' website.

No contract has been signed yet, though will soon if all goes well, but I am soon to be published author. When the novella, yeah the one I wrote in college, hits shelves depends on how much editing needs to be done etc. but I would guess around Easter or Mother's Day at the latest; hopefully sooner.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dental Update

In case you all were wondering, I finally have found a dentist but that's just the end of the story. Tuesday, I call another dentist. They inform me that they haven't taken new patients in five years. I call the next on the list and they enthusiastically tell me they do.

I then tell them about my spinal rod and that I have to take a pre-cleaning antibiotic so the rod doesn't get infected. I went without it once but why chance it? This is where the story turns fun. They tell me that the first time the previous dentist calls it in and then they take over. I call my old dentist in CT and the secretary gets all huffy about it says she wants to talk to this other office because of how irregular it is. She calls back about five hours later for the number of the pharmacy near me. She didn't sound happy.

An hour later, I walk over to the pharmacy to pick up the meds. Hadn't been called in. I call them the next morning and am told they recieved the prescription but need more information from the doctor before they can legally fill it. The third time I called, it was finally filled. I go over and get the bottle and discover the pharmmacy found my old address from when I lived in Maine the first time. Obviously, I need to change this at some point.

I decided earlier that I'd take a taxi to the detist as I wasn't quite sure where it was. The cabbie knew not only where the address was but what it was because he commented, "Better you than me." He was amusing.

Everybody at the office was very friendly. The dentist asked who my childhood dentist was and knew at least of them naming the town. I also discovered before I left that the secretary lives in my childhood hometown and that her friend's camp is in the next town over from where my parents now live!

Finding the bus stop was easy enough so I shouldn't have much problem going back.

Here's an unrelated quiz to finish off:

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Literature Nerd

Does sitting by a nice cozy fire, with a cup of hot tea/chocolate, and a book you can read for hours even when your eyes grow red and dry and you look sort of scary sitting there with your insomniac appearance? Then you fit this category perfectly! You love the power of the written word and it's eloquence; and you may like to read/write poetry or novels. You contribute to the smart people of today's society, however you can probably be overly-critical of works.

It's okay. I understand.

Drama Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Science/Math Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Social Nerd
Anime Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace

Sunday, January 20, 2008

What Is It About Me?

I don't think either women read this any more but, if you do, I apologize for this in advance. Awhile back I discovered that a woman I attempted a relationship with was getting married. I was a little bummed for awhile that not only was I not The One, I was seemingly The One Just Before The One. Recently, I discovered, basically the same way, that this "phenomenon" for lack of a better word has happened again. Do I give women greater insight into what they want? I can be cosmically pessimistic and interpret this as a reward for attempting a relationship with me but even I'm not that bad. (Well, not any more anyway...) I suppose in reality it's just some rather cruel coincidence. Please don't get me wrong. I'm very happy for both of them/you but I needed to get that off my chest. Some clarification wouldn't go amiss either...

In less, well, just lesser, news, I've decided to join Technorati. Will it give me more readers? Probably not but really why not try?

Friday, January 18, 2008

An Update Of Ho Hum Proportions

Since I've been living up here for about a year, I figured it was about time to set up a doctor and dentist up here.

My planned first step was to find a dentist as I'm due for a cleaning. I found a dentist within walking distance but I called them and they apparently aren't taking any new patients. I go online and find the name of another dentist who's not within walking distance (Well, not safely anyway.) but on the busline. I call them but they're closed. The secretary calls me the next day and informs me that they only do extractions not cleanings. There are a few more dentists within city limits including one slightly closer than the extractionists. The search continues.

I began my search for a doctor at the same time. Mapquest's listings are apparently not updated often as the first name I found was apparently now in another town which is not on busline. I found a practice on the other end of the main street here but I was really hoping for someone closer. Checking the other hospitals listings I come across just such a name and, yes, they were taking new patients.

This afternoon I went in. She's fairly attractive but that's neither here nor there...Moving on. I was under the impression I was 5'11 and am now only 5'8 and a half. Have I shrunk? Did the nurse screw up or have I been misguided all these years? (I wasn't wearing shoes.) The doctor, who hadn't worked with the hospital on whose site I found her name for five years so was therefore surprised it was there, wanted a complete physical scheduled which I'm OK with. What I'm a little irked with is she wanted me to touch base with the neurosurgeons up here even though haven't had a problem with my shunt for 15 years. They moved office locations in the interim so they probably don't have my file anymore even though nothing needs to be added to it. I understand why she feels it should be done but this is not a part of my life I want to revisit. Probably only one or two of you but maybe three or four of you understand why...

At the library today, I discovered a book returned to us yesterday had another hold on it from the same library it had just returned from. Two possibilities. One: another patron from this town wanted this book. Two: the label fell off the bag and the delivery truck didn't know where to send it. We're resending it.

Friday, January 11, 2008

First Survey of the Year

What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
Moved out of my parent's house, to a different state at the time, to an apartment.

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I doubt I made any and I'll probably hold that trend.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not really but one of my good friends from kindergarten's sister apparently had baby...

Did anyone close to you die?
Nobody comes to mind for this question at all.

What countries did you visit?
Other than go to CT a couple times and Springfield, MA once, I didn't even leave the state.

What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
A paying job and an SO wouldn't go amiss...

What date from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Forever? I don't think there is one.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting a huge Christmas bonus from my volunteer job.

What was your biggest failure?
Thinking that temping would pan out up here.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing serious

What was the best thing you bought?
Um, the complete series of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe I guess...

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Yeah, President Bush is a good answer...

Where did most of your money go?
Getting my glasses fixed then having to later get new frames.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going to the United Fan Con in Springfield, I guess.

What song will always remind you of 2007?
Always? I guess I'll go with "You'll Have Time" by William Shatner

Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
Much happier.

What do you wish you’d done more of?
This may sound odd considering I did more of this than in many moons but I still would have to say socialization.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Going to the mall to get my glasses fixed for one...

Did you fall in love in 2007?
It was really more of a crush...

How many one-night stands?

What was your favorite TV program?
Of 2007? Bionic Woman.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No, no one new... :)

What was the best book you read?
The best book that I read start to finish in 2007? I'm going to just say Star Trek: Mind Meld.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Radio Free Colorado

What did you want and get?
A change.

What was your favorite film of this year?
I suppose Spider-man 3.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Had a small party with my parents, grandmother and uncle at my parent's new house. I turned 30!

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
Same as always, whatever's clean! :P

What kept you sane?
Family and my volunteer job.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
In 2007? I'm gonna go with Michelle Ryan of Bionic Woman.

What political issue stirred you the most?
Does the Patriot's "Cameragate" count?

Whom did you miss?
Many people off and on.

Who were the best new people you met?
Seminary and Church people.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
"A change will do you good."

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Either the above or "Live life like you're gonna die because you're gonna."

End of Series But New Music

Remember how I said I really liked the soundtrack to Love Actually? Yeah, well, I bought it off eBay and received it in the mail yesterday. The problem with soundtracks more often than not is that the really good music you liked from the movie is never on the soundtrack. The disc is compiled of music playing during the closing credits that you didn't hear because you already had left the theater. This soundtrack doesn't belong in that category. It belongs with the great soundtracks of Forrest Gump or Boys on the Side.

There's maybe four or five songs I don't remember but even the Wyclef John song ("Take Me As I Am") is very catchy. Eva Cassidy's cover of Christine McVie's "Songbird" is indistinguishable from the original so that's very cool. (I'm sure I've said this before, but, McVie was the best songwriter of Fleetwood Mac.) I also love the piece of Craig Armstrong's score included here. I can actually picture the scene.

One of my quibbles is the inclusion of Maroon Five. I just don't like them. My second quibble will take a bit of explaining. In the DVD special features, writer/director Richard Curtis explains that he originally wanted to use The Beatles' "All You Need is Love" for the film's final scene but "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys which is my favorite song of theirs so am glad is here on the soundtrack. No, my quibble is the cover of "All You Need Is Love" found here. It pales in comparison to the original. I find it hard to believe they couldn't get the rights...

I close with a question. Did you know Mariah Carey co-wrote "All I Want For Christmas Is You?" Actually, scratch that. Did you know she wrote anything?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My Christmas Vacation- The Music

The good news was I got listen to my Ringo Starr Christmas album. I was worried it was too badly scratched but it just needed a massive cleaning. Yay!

I received a lot of CDs this year. From my parents, I received Kelly Clarkson's new album, My December. She's at the same place with her third album that Sheryl Crow was with her first. What I mean is Kelly wrote all the songs with the help of one to three other people. (Read the liner notes of Tuesday Night Music Club.) If this holds true, Kelly's sixth album should be pre-ordered now... Clive Davis didn't want this album to see the light of day. Why? While I don't like it as much as "Breakaway," it's very good indeed. I've only listened to it a couple times which is not enough time really like anything (Of course, there are exceptions in either direction.) so this may change.

From my aunt and uncle I received Raising Sand from Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. When I had heard of this album, I was very skeptical but kind of curious. This is very good. While it's very country, you can here strong blues and folk influences. If anything, it's kind of Dylan-esque in this way without actually covering any of his songs. (Two Gene Clark, of the Byrds, songs are included, however.)

My cousin/roommate gave me Playback, the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers box set put out in the early 90's. It's a good mix. There are hits, some of which aren't on the actual "Greatest Hits" album, and alot of B-sides. The best stuff, however was things just not released such as the Heartbreaker version of "Stop Dragging My Heart Around" or the demo of "The Apartment Song" with Stevie Nicks. The best track found on this six-disc set is "Waiting for Tonight" with all four Bangles singing back-up. I would call that the ultimate '80's anthem up there with "Do They Know It's Christmas" but wasn't released at the time. WTF?

My uncle gave me a box set of CDs he'd want with him "on a desert island." He introduced me to The Pretty Things over Thanksgiving. SF Sorrow is actually the first rock opera before Tommy. They're an interesting combination of he Beatles and Pink Floyd. I was also given their album Parachute which is, in my opinion the better of the two. It totally rocks, actually.

Also included in the set was the double album Kink Kronikles which I think is a good starting point to start my Kink "kollection" as it's not a greatest hit collection but just a general compilation for no apparent purpose. It does have "Lola" and "Sunny Afternoon" but the best song is "God's Children."

Before Rod Stewart and Ron Wood joined the Faces, they were known as the Small Faces and put out an album entitled Ogden's Nut Gone Flake. This will need another listen but my initial impression is that it's what it would song like if Monty Python made a rock opera. It's quite fascinating.

I also received another Tyrannosaurus Rex album: Unicorn. First listen was good but this also needs another listen or two before I can give you a legitimate opinion.

Over my "vacation" I also watched two music countdowns. I didn't watch much of either but I will tell you that I agreed with The 100 Greatest Duets on CMT more than The 100 Greatest Songs of the 90's on VH-1 particularly with the number one song. "Islands in the Stream" versus U2's "One." Hello? Yes, "One" was big but it wasn't as big as Dolly and Kenny, m'kay? It's debatable if that was even the biggest song of the decade... Two more thoughts on the Duets, it seemed Willy Nelson, Alison Krauss and Emmy Lou Harris appeared a lot on this list but never together. I think this should be remedied for next time. Also, is "Crying" by Roy Orbison and k.d. lang a country song? I'm not sure that was a criteria but even "Picture" was...

Saturday, January 05, 2008

My Christmas Vacation-Current Events and Sports

I'm glad Joe Biden especially dropped out of the race because, from the very beginning, he had about as much chance of winning as John Kerry would if he ran again meaning slim to less than none. I mean he called Obama "clean and articulate." Chris Dodd dropping out is a bit less, um, pleasant for me because I liked him to a certain degree. He didn't have a shot to win either, though, so it was the right move. And, briefly, what is up with Dennis Kucinich reporting ABC to the FCC for dumping him from the debates? Did anyone else get to go on The Colbert Report and empty their pockets? No.

Dodd dropping out leads me to what I really wanted to discuss. Joe Lieberman first endorsing Susan Collins for Maine's junior senator then John McCain for president. I have no problem with cross-party endorsements in the name of friendship but I really can't buy that from a guy whose response to losing his party's nomination was to run as an independent. It's all about headlines, plan and simple. He might as well run for president himself...

Endorsements are nothing new but this year so far has been quite fascinating in that area. Oprah endorsing Obama. Chuck Norris endorsing Huckabee. McCain getting endorsements from Lieberman and Curt Schilling. (Neither know when to shut their mouth. Coincidence? The world may never know.) Pat Robertson giving "the Christian Candidate" Huckabee the shaft and endorsing Rudy "Mr. 9-11" Guiliani. (I think it's good Rudy mentions 9-11 all the time as that's how Lois Griffin became mayor of Quahog, RI.)

Switching gears, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto is not a good development for the region. My mother, when we heard about it, said it might start the next World War and, the more I think about it, I think she has a point. That's how the first one started more or less. Although, the fact the situation hasn't dramatically escalated in the last week is hopeful in that area. According to Star Trek, that won't happen for another 40 years... (Sorry, I had to...)

I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't mention the Patriots achieving the 16-0 record. A certain reader will hate me saying this but it's a true achievement even if they don't win the Super Bowl; which they probably will anyway. W00t! I was pleased that the NFL Network allowed us mere mortals to watch the game. I mean it gave them a chance to hype their mediocre channel anyway. (Funny note: My father and others apparently didn't know what "simulcast" meant as they expected different commentators on CBS and NBC. They actually checked!) Channels devoted to just one sport are the definition of lame I now have decided. I thought the Golf Channel just sucked because golf does...I can't begin to imagine how lame it'll be now that the NFL season is wrapping up. At least golf is played year round somewhere in the world...

Friday, January 04, 2008

My Christmas Vacation-The Books

Maybe this topic is a stretch to be added to my series but I finished two books a couple days ago that I was reading over vacation so I think it counts. First, I finished Star Trek: Federation by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. Written between Star Trek: Generations and Star Trek: First Contact, it tels the story of warp drive developer, Zephram Cochrane filling in the blanks between when he broke the warp barrier, him disappearing in space, and then being discovered on a distant planet by Kirk, Spock and Dr. McCoy. It further allows him to encounter Picard's crew as well. I realize how complicated this may sound but it ties together well. Because it was written before First Contact came out some of the events taking place in Cochrane's own time contradict what is now cannon such as how he developed the drive but that's a very small portion of the book so it really can be overlooked. I was thinking that Generations would be the movie that would really screw things up so it's good that waited until after that one... I thought it was kind of interesting they used the appearance of Sarek, Spock's father, to hold the story together. The TOS portion takes place after "Journey to Babel" and the TNG portion takes place after "Sarek."

The same day, I finished reading Tess Gerritsen's latest: The Bone Garden. Such a great book. Taking a break from her current book series, she tels a story that switches back and forth from the present to 1830. The present does include a cameo by Dr. Maura Isles but this is a completely different book. Honestly, I like this and miss that element of her books when she started out at Pocket Books. Her next book will return to the series, apparently. The past features Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.; the famed physician not his son the judge, investigating a serial killer. What I love best about Gerritsen's books is when she uses places I've been or at least heard of. There was a reference here to the town where I had my internship and another to a hospital I had minor surgery at years ago. My one quibble with this book is that the transitions between past and present weren't always good. Some were like, "Let's go to the past now..." As with all her books, there was a twist I really didn't expect. And, no, it doesn't have to do with the killer...

I'm getting kind of tired writing about movies but I'm compelled to share the latest fare with you all. We will begin with The Reaping with Hillary Swank who, incidentally, has never looked more attractive but then I haven't seen her in a anything where she was allowed to be feminine since her debut in The Next Karate Kid. I'm pretty sure this was her first movie after winning her second Academy Award which, if you watch this movie, will have you scratching your head. I can't really go into detail about how I really feel about this movie without ruining the movie but let me just say that I've seen more believable movies on Lifetime...

Next, we watched Rush Hour 3. Which, oddly perhaps, was more believable and more entertaining. If you've seen the first two movies, or any movie with Jackie Chan for that matter, you pretty much know what to expect here. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Turning back to TV movies, we watched Home By Christmas with Linda Hamilton. This was the best Lifetime movie I have ever seen in my life. Since the majority of my audience is female, I have no qualms recommending it.

We finished up the night with Santa Jr. with Lauren Holly. It was pretty good but very flawed and needed a rewrite if you ask me...

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

My Christmas Vacation-The Movies: New Year's Addendum

My roommate had a friend from his first college days come to visit starting New Year's Eve and she loves to watch movies so we watched a bunch. She brought Hairspray with her so we started with that. That movie was not as sophisticated as Once but was definitely F-U-N fun. At first, I wondered why Travolta was putting on a Philadelphia accent if they were in Baltimore but maybe it's a Mid-Atlantic accent? Hmmm. I didn't know Amanda Bynes, Michelle Pfeiffer or Christopher Walken was in this movie so that was a cool surpise. Rent it today.

We next flipped around the channels and found American Pie Presents: Band Camp so we watched that. As with Girl Interrupted, but perhaps more so with this movie, I was amazed what made it on the air. At the moment, I don't feel the need to rent the full version but, overall, I liked it.

As their was nothing on TV, we raided our stash of recorded Christmas movies beginning with Christmas Caper with Shannen Doherty which may have been the best of the bunch followed by Holiday in Handcuffs with Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez which was terrible then was really really good for a bit and then made you think "Why is this movie not done yet?" After that we watched Christmas in Boston with Marla Sokoloff which was quite amusing. "Let's make hot chocolate!" The worse movie was the one we got off of Lifetime: Holiday Switch with Nicole Eggert whom I've loved since Charles in Charge. (Her Summer was much more interesting on Baywatch than Pam's CJ.) It took a long while for the plot to develop and it was very sappy when it did.

What will we watch tonight?
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